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Archived News from September 2022

4th September 2022 23:19

Papa John’s Trophy (English Football League Trophy)
Mansfield Town 3 - 2 Manchester City U21
Akins 16, Gale 50, Lapslie 84. Borges 29, Dickson 32
Attendance: 1,804 (64 from Manchester City)

Date: 30 August 2022

Martin Shaw at the One Call Stadium, Field Mill

Mansfield Town beat Manchester City U21 3-2 in the first match in the group stages of this season’s Papa John’s Trophy at the One Call Stadium last night. It was a very entertaining game to watch that could have easily ended something like 6-5, and was a contrast between the fantastic technical ability of the Manchester City youngsters and the extra strength, work rate and closing down of the Stags side.

Mansfield made plenty of changes as expected from Saturday’s game at Sutton, 8 in total. McLaughlin, Harbottle and Akins were the 3 to start who started at Sutton. O’Toole (foot injury) and Hawkins (illness) were ruled out. With those two ruled out, and probably not wanting to start Perch again after Saturday, Nigel Clough switched to a 4-3-3 formation, with Hewitt and Harbottle at centre half, Gordon and McLaughlin the full backs, Clarke, Maris and Wallace in midfield, and Akins (right), Bowery (left) either side of young James Gale up front. Scott Flinders made his debut in goal.

Manchester City U21 had played at Mansfield two years ago in this competition and won 3-0, with Liam Delap outstanding in attack. Within a few weeks he was on the bench for the first team. Only centre half Finley Burns from that team played in this game.

City had two chances in the opening 6 minutes. After 4 minutes, Adedire Mebude received the ball on the right, clearly in an offside position when the ball was played across from Carlos Borges, but missed by the officials, he cut inside and his shot was cleared off the line by Hewitt. Then right back Juan Larios, who looked to have an abundance of talent, even if not suited to the right back role, played a 1-2 and slid a shot wide of the right post.

At the other end on 8 minutes, a shot from Bowery was deflected wide.

The Stags went even closer on 9 minutes, McLaughlin’s shot from 25 yards was arrowing towards the top right corner of the net but keeper Mikki Van Sas made a wonderful save, tipping it over.

On 11 minutes, City had the ball in the net, as Mebude crossed and Will Dickson turned it into the net but the offside flag was already up.

At the other end on 12 minutes, McLaughlin curled in a free kick from 35 yards, Akins looped a header goalwards and it landed on the top of the bar, though the keeper had it covered.

The Stags went even closer again on 14 minutes. A great cross from McLaughlin, Gale headed it goalwards and the keeper somehow kept it out with his legs.

The Stags took the lead after 16 minutes. A great run by Gordon down the right and his fine cross to the far post was turned behind for a corner by Larios with Bowery trying to get on the end of it. Maris took the resulting corner from the left, high to the far post, where Akins leapt well, timing his leap to perfection, and heading down into the bottom left corner of the net. A third assist of the season for Maris (see my stats below), and Akins’ first goal of the season.

After 25 minutes, Larios brought down Bowery on the left. Larios was booked. The free kick from Maris was turned goalwards by Bowery, but blocked.

Three minutes later, Akins crossed from the right, it reached McLaughlin, just outside the area and he got a great connection on his shot which fizzed just over and wide of the angle of bar and post.

But Manchester City U21 equalised after 29 minutes. And it was route one football at its best! Keeper Van Sas pinged the ball low straight down the middle, Flinders came out of his area to try to get there, but Borges got to it first, took a touch round Flinders, and rolled it into the empty net from 22 yards. Terrible keeping from Flinders, who had to get there if he was coming out of his area.

Flinders did well two minutes later as he cleared quickly after Harbottle tried to shepherd the ball back to him.

On 32 minutes, Manchester City U21 took the lead. And again it was excellent route one football. Keeper Van Sas pinged the ball low forward and all the way into the Stags box, from just outside his own area, Mebude ran on to it and slid a ball across the edge of the box yard box to Dickson who turned the ball into the net. The goal should have been disallowed though. From the analyst’s wide angle camera it was clear that Mebude was a yard offside when the keeper played the ball forward, but it was again missed by the officials.

After 35 minutes, a good tackle by Hewitt to concede a corner. From that corner, Shea Charles side-footed wide from 25 yards.

A chance for the Stags after 41 minutes. From Maris’s corner from the right, Gale headed over the bar.

Then on 45+1 minutes, Gordon’s shot from the edge of the area was blocked for a corner. From that corner by Maris, McLaughlin headed over the bar.

Manchester City U21 ahead at the break in a half of plenty of chances for both sides.

Half time 1-2

Gale did well to win a corner out of nothing 25 seconds into the second half. The resulting corner from Maris was deflected onto the bar by City sub O’Reilly for another corner. Then a minute later pinball in the City box following a Gordon cross, Bowery was close to turning it into the net before being flagged offside.

The Stags were level at 2-2 after 50 minutes. Bowery crossed right footed from the left, Wallace headed it on, and Akins headed it down perfectly into the path of Gale who acrobatically turned it into the net from 6 yards. A good assist from Akins and a great moment for Gale with his first Stags goal. He deserved it for a fine performance.

Another chance for Gale after 56 minutes. Another good cross from Gordon, and Gale headed over the bar, unmarked. He should have scored again.

After 58 minutes, great control from Akins on the right to take down a Hewitt crossfield pass. He found Gordon who crossed from the right, Bowery headed down, and Wallace took it down on his knee before turning and crossing low from the byline across the face of goal to Gale who turned it goalwards but the keeper saved on his line.

The Stags missed a sitter after 59 minutes. Akins teed up Gordon for a cross. Gordon’s cross was half cleared as far as Wallace, completely unmarked 12 yards out, but Wallace blazed his shot over the bar and into the very back of the empty Quarry Lane stand.

Another chance for the Stags after 67 minutes, as Maris crossed and McLaughlin’s flying header was straight at the keeper.

Mansfield made a double change after 68 minutes. Lapslie and Perch came on for McLaughlin and Akins. Perch went in at centre half, Hewitt moved to left back, Lapslie went onto the right where Akins had been.

Maris fired over the bar from 28 yards after 71 minutes.

Another double change for the Stags after 73 minutes. Swan and Hartigan replaced Wallace and Clarke.

After 79 minutes, Hewitt did well down the left, he found Bowery, who got to the byline, cut inside and his low shot was blocked.

Yet another chance for Gale after 83 minutes. Gordon steamed forward and crossed and Gale headed well wide. Not the best header from Gale on this occasion.

The Stags made it 3-2 after 84 minutes. Perch won a header on the edge of the centre circle. Lapslie fed the ball out to Gale on the left. Gale slid a lovely ball forward to the byline for Hewitt who crossed low into the six yard box, where Lapslie turned the ball into the net from 3 yards, getting ahead of his marker. A real goal-poacher’s goal from Lapslie, great to see. And a good assist for Hewitt, as well as good play from Gale.

Good keeping from Flinders after 86 minutes, out quickly to clear.

Two chances for Manchester City U21 to equalise in stoppage time. After 90+2 minutes, Mebude got ahead of Hewitt down the right and crossed for Borges, unmarked 12 yards out. Borges shot low but Flinders was out to narrow the angle and saved with his legs. A brilliant save from Flinders. And within 30 seconds, sub Tomas Galvez pulled back to Borges, 14 yards from goal, and he swept a shot against the bar. A stroke of luck there as the Stags held on to the lead.

A really entertaining game, and £10,000 in the bank for Mansfield winning the game. Plenty of impressive performances in the Stags side. Gordon made some good runs from right back and put in some fine crosses, Akins was very good on the right, with a goal and an assist, while James Gale impressed again as he has in pre-season games, including scoring his first Stags goal.

Manchester City U21 had some very impressive players. Especially right back Juan Larios, a diminutive left footed player, who looked to have an abundance of talent, even if not suited to the right back role. I mentioned him to Nigel Clough after the game, who agreed about his talent but joked he was the smallest full back he’d ever seen. Larios is an 18 year old, signed from Barcelona two years ago, who is expected for sign for Southampton in the next 24 hours. Carlos Borges also impressed up front, as did others. However for all their incredible talent, with amazing passing and movement, they couldn’t compete physically with the Stags, who won lots of headers.

There are two more games coming up in the group stages with a visit to Grimsby Town in September, while Derby County visit Mansfield in October, for the second time this season.

A word on the attendance which was a thousand more than last season’s game against Newcastle United U21 (1,804 vs 805). This is probably a reflection of how much Stags fans are enjoying home games at the moment. Those that turned out last night certainly saw an entertaining game.

Back to the league on Saturday. The Stags visit Doncaster, backed by a big following. Hopefully the big following can inspire the team to a first away win or at least point of the season.

Man of the match: Lucas Akins


Mansfield Town come from behind to beat Manchester City’s stars of the future in five-goal thriller
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday 30th August 2022

Mansfield Town led and then had to come from behind to go on and beat a highly talented Manchester City U21s 3-2 in an exciting opening group game in the Papa John's Trophy at the One Call Stadium tonight.

This game provided superb entertainment in a much-maligned competition and could have ended with a much bigger scoreline with both sides creating countless chances and playing bright, passing football.

Lucas Akins headed Stags in front on 16 minutes but City's talented stars of the future roared back with two goals in three minutes, both from long goalkeeper clearances that the home defence will not want to see replayed to them.

But it was all square again with a first Stags goal for young striker James Gale on 50 minutes before sub George Lapslie snatched a winner six minutes from time.


In five exciting added minutes City hit the bar and failed to beat Scott Flinders in a one on one on his Stags debut.

Nigel Clough made eight changes to the side from the weekend, two enforced.

John-Joe O'Toole missed out due to a foot injury picked up at Sutton while Saturday's goalscorer Oli Hawkins missed out due to illness.

Flinders, Kellan Gordon, Elliott Hewitt, Kieran Wallace, Ollie Clarke, George Maris, Jordan Bowery - back from illness - and James Gale all came into the Stags' starting XI.

Also making way were Christy Pym, James Perch, Anthony Hartigan, Stephen Quinn, George Lapslie and Will Swan.

City began in confident fashion with some sharp passing though had to defend a Stags corner in the third minute.

A minute later and a fast counter saw Mebude put in space on the right of the box. He cut inside and fired past Flinders but Hewitt was perfectly place to clear off the goal line.

On six minutes Charles sent Larios into the box and his low finish skidded wide of the far post.

Stags had their first sight of goal on eight minutes as City failed to clear a Gordon cross and Bowery's stabbed finish deflected just wide.

A minute later and Maris set up McLaughlin for a 25 yard blast destined for the top corner until Van Sas spectacularly tipped it away.

The visitors thought they had gone ahead on 11 minutes as Dickson turned home Mebude's low cross from close range only to be denied by an offside flag.

Akins looped a header over the top from a McLaughlin free kick as the highly entertaining start continued.

On 14 minutes McLaughlin picked out Gale five yards out with a teasing cross, but somehow Van Sas blocked his header with his legs.

Gordon almost picked out Bowery at the far post, but Larios just got there first to concede a fourth corner from which Mansfield grabbed the lead on 16 minutes.

Maris sent it over from the left and Akins guided home a close range downwards header.

Larios was booked on 25 minutes for bringing down Bowery on the left.

Three minutes later Akins pulled back a deep low cross that McLaughlin met with a ferocious rising shot over the far angle.

But for all their pretty football, City levelled from route one on 29 minutes.

A pinpoint clearance from Van Sas picked out the intelligent run of Borges and he beat the onrushing Flinders to it, sidestepped him and rolled it into an empty net.

Soon after a poor back pass from Wallace put Flinders in trouble, but Hewitt slid in to save his blushes.

But parity didn't last long as Stags were once again cut open by an accurate clearance by Van Sas on 32 minutes. This time he picked out Mebude in space on the right and his low cross was easily slotted home by Dickson with Stags' defence in tatters.

City's first corner on 36 minutes was pulled back low to Charles in a training ground routine that saw him sidefoot wide.

Gale headed just over from a Maris corner while in added time McLaughlin was too high with a header, again from a Maris corner.

Stags won a corner on the restart which interval sub O'Reilly almost headed into his own net, a combination of bar and keeper preserving their lead.

Then Bowery was inches away from turning home a low Gordon cross.

Mansfield were rewarded for their strong start with an equaliser on 50 minutes.

Bowery's left wing cross was headed on by Gale to Akins. Akins nodded the ball back towards Gale and he acrobatically volleyed home from six yards.

Gale should have scored again on 56 minutes but put a free header over from six yards from a great Gordon cross.

A powerful low Wallace cross struck Gale on the heel in front of goal and Van Sas had to block.

City hit back with a spell of dazzling possession with nothing at the end of it before McLaughlin sent a diving header at the keeper from a Maris cross and Maris was too high with a shot after a good Wallace tackle won him the ball.

Stags then made a slew of changes as we edged towards penalties.

Harbottle blocked a Breckin shot on 77 minutes after more glorious approach passing from the young visitors while a block at the other end took the sting out of a Bowery shot after he had cut in from the left.

With just six minutes to go, sub Lapslie finally put the Stags back in front.

Hewitt got to the left by-line and pulled back a low cross that the midfielder swept home from six yards.

In the second of five added minutes Borges was put one on one with Flinders but the keeper saved with his legs. And a minute later Borges rattled the Stags crossbar from 20 yards as Stags held on.

STAGS: Flinders, Gordon, Hewitt, Harbottle, McLaughlin (Perch 68), Clarke (Hartigan 73), Wallace (Swan 73), Maris, Akins (Lapslie 68), Gale, Bowery. SUBS NOT USED: Pym, Quinn, Boateng.

MAN CITY U21s: Van Sas, Larios, Burns, Katongo, Taylor (Galvez 60), Charles, Mebude, Breckin, Dickson (Oboavwoduo 60), Bobb (O'Reilly HT), Borges. SUBS NOT USED: Alleline, McNamara, Smith, Ndala.

REFEREE: Ross Joyce.

ATTENDANCE: 1,804 (64 away).




Tue 30 Aug 2022, 20:55

A late Mansfield Town goal ended City EDS' unbeaten start to the campaign in an enthralling EFL Trophy encounter.

City trailed, fought back to lead at the break before Nigel Clough's men hit back with two second-half strikes to win the game 3-2.

The Blues have Derby County and Grimsby Town still to face in the group stage of the competition, and on this display, will be still hopeful of progressing.


On a pleasant sunny evening in north east Derbyshire, City’s EFL trophy quest began against League Two side Mansfield Town.

And the chances for both teams came thick and fast in an entertaining, open EFL Trophy clash at the One Call Stadium.

Adedire Mebude and Juan Larios should both have put the young Blues ahead with excellent opportunities and on 11 minutes, Will Dickson saw his close range finish ruled out for offside.

In-between, the Stags had their own chances with Jordan Bowery, Stephen McLaughlin and James Gale all going close before the deadlock was finally broken when Luke Akins nodded home on 16 minutes.

City continued the cultured passing game and were behind for just 13 minutes - with the first of a brace of quickfire goals levelling the scores.

Carlos Borges raced clear to round keeper Scott Flinders and coolly stroke the ball into the empty net to make it 1-1.

Then, three minutes later, Mebude collected on the right before sending a precise low ball across for Will Dickson to side-foot home from a couple of yards out - a lead that Brian Barry-Murphy’s side held to half-time.

Mansfield began the second-half brightly and took just five minutes to level the scores through James Gale as this thrilling encounter swung one way then the other.

There were half-chances for both sides in the time that remained, but the best of them fell to Mansfield - with Kieran Wallace guilty of gift-wrapped opportunity from eight yards that almost cleared the stand behind Mikki van Sas' goal.

But the Stags had the final say on the night to end the Blues' unbeaten start as George Lapslie grabbed what proved to be the winner on 84 minutes.

City had almost levelled in added time as Borges was denied by the keeper as he was sent clear - and 60 seconds later the same player saw his 20-yard effort strike the underside of the bar.

It's early days in the EFL Trophy group stage, with games against Derby County and Grimsby Town still to come for the EDS.

CITY: Van Sas, Larios, Burns, Katongo, Taylor (Galvez 60), Charles ,Mebude, Breckin, Dickson (Oboavwoduo 60), Bobb (O'Reilly 46), Borges

Attendance: 1,804



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